See more synonyms for mallet on
  1. a hammerlike tool with a head commonly of wood but occasionally of rawhide, plastic, etc., used for driving any tool with a wooden handle, as a chisel, or for striking a surface.
  2. the wooden implement used to strike the balls in croquet.
  3. Polo. the long-handled stick, or club, used to drive the ball.

Origin of mallet

1375–1425; late Middle English maillet < Middle French, equivalent to mail maul + -et -et Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mallet

Contemporary Examples of mallet

Historical Examples of mallet

  • I managed to get the helm hard up, and Mallet jumped inboard.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • I told Mallet if he would cook a goose, I would tip one over.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • Mallet did as ordered, and was off in less than three minutes after we got alongside.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • A stroke of the mallet may be more effective than the sculptor had hoped; but it was intended.

    A Dish Of Orts

    George MacDonald

  • But the chisel slipped, the mallet fell too heavily, and he stopped.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

British Dictionary definitions for mallet


  1. a tool resembling a hammer but having a large head of wood, copper, lead, leather, etc, used for driving chisels, beating sheet metal, etc
  2. a long stick with a head like a hammer used to strike the ball in croquet or polo
  3. mainly US a very large powerful steam locomotive with a conventional boiler but with two separate articulated engine units

Word Origin for mallet

C15: from Old French maillet wooden hammer, diminutive of mail maul (n)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for mallet

late 14c., from Old French maillet "mallet, small wooden hammer, door-knocker," diminutive of mail, from Latin malleus "a hammer," from PIE *mal-ni-, from root *mele-, *mel- "to crush, grind," with derivatives referring to ground material and tools for grinding (cf. Hittite mallanzi "they grind;" Armenian malem "I crush, bruise;" Greek malakos "soft," mylos "millstone;" Latin molere "to grind," mola "millstone, mill," milium "millet;" Old English melu "meal, flour;" Albanian miel "meal, flour;" Old Church Slavonic meljo, Lithuanian malu "to grind;" Old Church Slavonic mlatu, Russian molotu "hammer").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper